Events | The Representation of Women in Pre-Raphaelite Art

The Representation of Women in Pre-Raphaelite Art 

  • Location: Thirlestaine Long Gallery, Bath Road, Cheltenham GL53 7LD
  • Date: 20.02.17 | 7:00pm
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Their secret Brotherhood was the most influential and controversial movement in the history of English art. The group was founded in winter 1848, the first pictures to be signed with the secret initials PRB were exhibited in 1849 and in 1853 Millais was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy, and Rossetti regarded that as the end of the Brotherhood. In 4 years, they had set in motion an artistic revolution, but the group had disbanded in 5 years. Whilst many of the Brotherhood’s images are based on Chaucerian and Arthurian subjects and heroines, the PRB also tackled contemporary issues and addressed the socio-political / economic situation in England at the time. In doing so, they made a vital contribution to the development of ‘modern-life’ painting.

This talk aims to explore the fascinating topic of the representation of women in Pre-Raphaelite art, from the subservient anabolic woman, to the catabolic femme fatale; in particular the theme of the fallen woman and unrequited love, drawing parallels with earlier and more contemporary literature, as well as relating the theme to prostitution during the Victorian epoch.

What makes the topic more interesting is the painters’ rather complex relations with their own Pre-Raphaelite women. Lizzie Siddal, Fanny Cornforth, Jane Burden and Effie Millais adopted multiple guises, as muses, models, matriarchs and mistresses.

For more information on the talk, please contact:

Poster Info: PRB Women Event